First of all, this is NOT a thread about who deserves endorsements or not. And it's not even a thread about how to get endorsed. I thought about this when this morning I read about the new Bill Kelliher signature from ESP/LTD. Long story short...long time Gibson dude leaves Gibson endorsement and goes to ESP. Now, it's not anything new that a guitar player changes ship, totally fair, totally good for them. Still I wonder how some brands easily "lose" their endorsers. As far as big player goes, from the top of my mind... -Jackson lost Marty Friedman (went to Ibanez, then PRS, then seemingly Jackson again), Dave Mustaine (to Dean), Alexi Laiho (to ESP) -Ibanez lost Alex Skolnick (to Heritage then ESP), John Petrucci (to EBMM), Frank Gambale (to Yamaha iirc), Vinnie Moore (to Dean), Reb Beach (to Suhr), Chris Broderick (to Ibanez), Ihsahn (to Aristides), Reyes (to ESP) -ESP lost Kiko Loureiro to Ibanez (previously he was with Washburn and Tagima) -Suhr lost Guthrie Govan to Charvel At the same time some relations seems to go on from forever like Gilbert/Vai/Satriani with Ibanez, Nuno Bettencourt with Washburn, George Lynch with ESP, Slash with Gibson, Malmsteen with Fender As you can see I mentioned people that are both great players and have a certain amount of "starpower" in the guitarists fanbase. Except for Kiko, there's this kind of trend of guitarists that find a good home with ESP. Or Schecter lately. That leads me to think that some brands are less willing to work with the endorsers. In some cases like Ibanez (but it's not the only brand), some of the artists gets signature LACS, which have unique specs, but those instruments, which are often slight modification of market designs, remain unique pieces, still there are millions of numbers RGs. ESP instead seems to release on the market sigs for every player, giving me the impression that every endorser DO REALLY MATTER. I still find incredible how Ibanez could lose a first class player like Petrucci, as his starpower and influence is so big that financially it would totally make sense to invest in R&D for him and release his spec'ed instrument, as the monstrous amount of sold Sterling and EBMM of his sig testimony. So what do you guys think? In SS.org there are people that have been in the business, endorsed guitarists, common guitarists...I'd like to listen to what you have to say about this stuff.